Friday, December 19, 2008

Night Flight

The moon was low in the sky and golden; it lit up the soft earth and called to her in a way that she couldn't explain to anyone. She stretched, as though she had slept too long; extending first one limb, and then another, testing them before giving them her trust and her weight.

In a sudden silent sweep of wings, she was gone. Gone as if she had never been; hunting alone in the night for what sustained her.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Glass beads, tiger's eye, onyx, gold-filled findings. Porcelain owl by Laura Mears of Beyond Beads. Hand fabricated, bead embroidery, bead weaving.

In the private collection of Claudia Newcomer

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Tropical Island Mood

It was too cold to pretend; she had to put on her boots and jacket to get the mail. She hated to give in to it; but last night's snow made her face reality. The path would be icy, and running was out. She'd freeze before she got back unless she bundled up.

Stepping off the porch, she felt her feet slide; bending her knees, she did the Minnesota shuffle down to the street. Halfway there, she could see the unmistakable silhouette of a little parcel hanging in a bag on her mailbox; what could it be? She couldn't remember ordering anything, and it was too early yet for Christmas.

She reached the mailbox, picked up her post, and shuffled back to the house. Eagerly, she removed her boots and jacket and reached for her box. She quickly sliced through the tape and opened the box. What on earth?!?!? a bag of tiny, gaily colored paper umbrellas and a package of piƱa colada mix. Humming happily, she fell instantly into a tropical island mood.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Seed and fringe beads, gold-filled findings. Hand fabricated, princess length necklace.

With special thanks to Gwwn Fisher of BeAd Infinitum, for teaching me to think about beads in a new way.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Bling in the afternoon

One of the best parts about getting older is not having to follow the rules. Oh, the big rules still apply; she wasn't that far gone. But the little rules; the ones about what to wear, and when to wear it: those were officially over. Life was too short.

Evening wear? Snort. It's afternoon wear, now.

Why hadn't she realized this decades ago?

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Seed beads and Swarovski crystals. Based on Kepler's Star, a weave by Gwen Fisher of BeAd Infinitum. Hand fabricated.

In the private collection of Ida Newcomer

Monday, November 3, 2008

Cranberry Relish

She swirled the cranberries in a sink full of water, picking out any that were soft, removing leaves and stems, and letting the inevitable crop of stones settle to the bottom. When she thought she'd finished picking them over, she scooped out the berries, one handful at a time, and placed them into a medium pot, finding a few more stems in the process. She grated the zest from two oranges on top of the berries, and squeezed the juice and pulp over that.

The sugar was next; this was always a guessing game. She added about half a cup; that was never quite enough, but it was better to start tart. After adding enough port wine to cover the berries, she turned on a medium flame and began stirring. She brought the liquid to a slow boil, and turned down the flame to keep it there.

As the berries darkened and popped, the sauce began to thicken. Stirring constantly, she amused herself by smashing the deep red berries against the side of the pot with her spoon. When all the berries had darkened and the sauce was thick, she tasted it; lips puckering, she gradually added more sugar, one spoonful at a time, stirring all the while, until it was just barely sweet enough.

She took the pot off the fire and went on to her next task.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Seed beads. Hand fabricated princess length collar using off-loom techniques.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Audrey slipped off her jacket as she entered the greenhouse; her orchids lived in a steamy world of their own that had no relationship to the frigid New England wind that was already promising snow. She checked each plant carefully; noting bud and bloom, looking for any sign of disease or pests. The first few minutes were always tense ones; this was her special world, and she would let nothing harm her plants.

Happily, nothing was threatening them today. There were some new blooms to admire; and a few that had passed their prime and needed pinching. She stretched luxuriously in the soft warm air, letting her shoulders relax and putting all thoughts of her day out of her head. This was what she was meant to do; this was what she did best.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Seed beads, sterling silver, Dichroic glass by Paula Radke. Hand fabricated, bead-woven collar.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Butterscotch Creme

She let the silky sweetness gather in her mouth; butterscotch creme was more than just a treat, it was a trip back in time. Her Papa had always had butterscotch in his shirt pocket, and he always offered them to her, right away, holding them out before she even came into the house. She never, ever had to ask.

For awhile, after he died, she couldn't bear the smell of butterscotch; its sticky sweetness was repulsive and cloying to her senses. But now, nearly forty years later, it had found the power to open her heart again.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Seed beads. Based on Kepler's Star, a bead weaving pattern created by Gwen Fisher of BeAd Infinitum. Hand fabricated.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


"Where am I?" She sat up, heart pounding, with no idea of how she had gotten here, or, indeed, where 'here' was. Trees. Her mind registered trees. Tall trees. Lots of trees. A forest. Okay, she was in a forest. It was a rather nice forest; the ground was soft and mossy; the air was comfortably cool, and it was shady, but not too dark.

Looking more closely, she identified pine, and hemlock, and perhaps an oak over there; but trees were not reliable landmarks, it was not in the least like recognizing restaurants or boutiques. One could simply not place oneself with any confidence by identifying trees.

Surely she was dreaming? No, this was entirely too real. She gradually became aware that her jeans and t-shirt had been replaced by a gown of something soft and perfectly fitted to her; she stretched, and it stretched with her. Her feet were sheathed in boots of the finest leather; they were quite the prettiest shoes she'd ever seen. She turned her foot one way, and then the other; admiring the look even more than the fit.

"How odd," she thought. "I really should mind this more than I do."

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Seed beads, vintage glass, and lampwork by Melissa Vess of Inner Realm Creations. Hand fabricated, princess length necklace using traditional needlelace techniques in beads.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I thee wed

How long had she been planning this day? Since before she could remember, she'd dreamt of being a bride. She lifted the lid of the old cedar chest that would one day be hers, and gently took out her great-grandmother's veil. The silk netting was gossamer thin and the color of heavy cream; the lace was handmade and as delicate as a spider's web. Under it was more silk; yards and yards of embroidered antique silk, gathered onto a bodice that clung to her every curve and fit like a dream.

She'd always known that she would wear these things; she'd grown up looking into this cedar chest and dreaming of this day. She didn't want a new dress, a new veil, a trip to a trendy and expensive fashion designer's salon. She wanted to greet this day clothed in all the love and lace that her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother had handed down; she wanted to bring that love to her husband and share it with him.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Seed beads, freshwater pearls and gold-filled findings. Hand woven and embroidered bead lace. Hand fabricated.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A matter of perspective

She looked out her kitchen window at the waves, and found herself unconsciously moving in concert with them. She picked up a dish from the counter, dipped it in the soapy water, and set it in the dishwasher with the same tumbling motion of the sea. Her fingers whirled and dove like pelicans, dislodging the bits of stuck food and retrieving errant silverware from the bottom of the sink.

How many meals had she planned, cooked, served, and cleaned up after in her lifetime? Perhaps not as many as grains of sand, but more than she could calculate. Every move was now automatic; she no longer thought about it. Her mind was free to focus on the view; she danced in the waves and soared with the gulls.

Pop! went the plug, and the dirty water swirled down the drain.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, lampwork by Melissa Vess of Inner Realm Creations. Hand fabricated, filigree and chain maille, necklace and earrings set.

In private collection

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sand and sky

It was after Labor Day, and she was on the beach. In her swimsuit. Her mother would have been horrified; when she was growing up in New York, swimsuits were banished the day after Labor Day. She remembered swimming all day long, trying to store up enough of the slippery cool wetness and hot sun on her back to last a whole winter.

Not that winter started the day after Labor Day; nope, even in New York there were lots of warm days left after Labor Day. The lake stayed warm and inviting right into October, some years. But no one went swimming after Labor Day. Not ever. And, after awhile, she'd stopped asking why, stopped trying to argue her swimsuit back down from the attic, and absorbed the rule into her own way of looking at the world.

There was no swimming after Labor Day.

But here, on the California Coast, they didn't seem to know that rule. She wasn't alone on the beach; there were lots of other people basking in the sun and cavorting in the waves. Toddlers building sand castles with their young mothers; older couples walking hand in hand on the hard sand; single people, like her, their towels and cell phones marking their boundaries and connections to the real world. She made circles in the sand with her big toe for awhile, checked her messages; then, self-consciously, got up and strolled down to the ocean.

Looking furtively around for any sign of her childhood, she defiantly waded into the surf.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

14k gold-filled chain maille, seed beads, and lampwork beads by Melissa Vess of Inner Realm Creations. Hand fabricated, bead embroidery princess length necklace.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mermaid's song

He squinted and put his hand up to shade his eyes. What was that? Kelp? Maybe an otter enjoying a breakfast of abalone, tossing the shells into the wind?

The early morning sun was surely playing tricks on him; that was not a woman out there, her hair floating on the waves, yards and yards and yards of it, entwined with bits and pieces of shell. Surely that was not an arm, raised to the sky in a languid stretch; that could not be a tail, it must be simply an ocean swell.

From far away, he heard a woman singing, the ocean breeze making it sound as if it were coming from just beyond the waves, teasing him with an unrecognizable melody in the sweetest voice he'd ever heard. He'd never realized, until just this moment, how very lonely and utterly alone he was.

Reluctantly he forced himself to turn and walk back to his car; if he did not, he would surely drown.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, seed beads, paua shell, freshwater pearls. Bead woven, hand fabricated, princess length necklace.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Finding strength

"Hang being strong, anyway," she thought, resisting the rebellious impulse to kick something. Suddenly feeling as if she were thirteen years old again was not a pleasant feeling. Thirteen hadn't been good the first time around, and she had no intention of doing it again.

"Take a deep breath," she told herself, but the tears wouldn't stop. What was up with that? She was a grown woman; strong, secure, comfortable with herself. She'd laid these demons to rest years ago, or at least she thought she had. It was terrifying how quickly they took up residence in her mind; rearranging the furniture and painting the walls a terrifying shade of insecurity.

One finger at a time, she opened the fists she'd made.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Turquoise, Coral, glass beads and gold-filled maille. Hand fabricated choker length necklace.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Where my heart takes me

"It's always dawn somewhere," she told herself, "and every dawn is a new beginning." Where would she be when the sun rose this morning? She'd crossed two times zones in three days, and found herself getting up an hour earlier each time. Her body clock refused to be set back; she'd gone from missing the sunrise, to seeing it, to anticipating it. She was becoming quite comfortable with the darkness before the dawn.

She was also getting to know open-all-night, drive-through restaurants. They were the only ones serving breakfast at this hour, and she was ravenously hungry. She'd have a proper meal later, when the rest of the world was awake, but she had miles and miles of desert to cross before then.

Not a cloud in the sky. Just the first signs of the streaky pink and grey that would later brighten with the glow of the sun and turn a brilliant shade of blue. She tossed her heart over the distant mountains and followed it.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Necklace made from seed beads, with sterling silver clasp. Hand fabricated.

In private collection

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Where the road goes

She picked up her rucksack and slung it in the back of her car. She'd whittled her life down to the road that stretched ahead of her, a few changes of clothes, and her tools. Everything else was bought, sold, and bartered along the way. She slipped gingerly behind the wheel; the seat was hot and her legs were bare. The car started after a couple of tries; its battery was going, but it wasn't gone yet.

Where would she go today? The gas gauge hovered between half and three quarters full; more than enough to get to the next town. Good. She'd had enough of this one.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Seed beads, freshwater pearls, sterling silver, lampwork by Donna Millard. Hand fabricated.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Crazy Quilt

Hand made things had to be useful on a farm in North Dakota in the early 1900s; like so many other women of her generation, Mary Jane McFadden spent her time making quilts and clothing to keep her children warm. But as the children grew, as the boys left home and the girls learned to sew their own clothes, her heart yearned to make something pretty; something that was every bit as decorative as it was useful.

All her life, she'd saved scraps; bits of wool and cotton, mostly, but here and there a piece of velvet, satin or silk had come her way. As she sorted through them, she found remnants of the dress Pearl took her first steps in, Effie's high school graduation gown (the first in her family to finish high school), generations of trousers for the boys, and her own wedding dress.

She took out the largest pieces of muslin she could find, and began piecing a crazy quilt on them. On it, she appliqued initials and other symbols that held special meanings for her; she used every scrap of beauty that had ever come her way. Although she died before she finished her quilt of many colors, it was a labor of love, done just to please her own eyes.

Many, many years later, when little Effie was a grandmother herself, she gave the unfinished quilt to her eldest granddaughter. They worked on it together; carefully finishing the quilting with fancy embroidery stitches and repairing the frayed edges with scraps from their own lives.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, iolite, citrine, freshwater pearls, and seed bead embroidered collar with lampwork by Lisa Atchison of Touch of Glass Designs. Hand fabricated.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Sometimes sisters aren't born into a family; sometimes, they find each other later than that. I am fortunate enough to have both kinds; I have sisters whom I waited to see born, and sisters whom I have met in all stages of my life.

Sisters who accepted and loved me as a lonely and awkward teen; sisters who counseled and comforted me in the early, very scary, days of being a mom. Sisters who have tested my faith; and sisters who have carried me when my faith was low. I have sisters who share the day to day minutia of my life, and sisters who can be counted on to drop everything to be there when I need them.

The older I get, the more I appreciate my sisters. These are the women who know me and love me just as I am; the women who listen to me without judging me; the women who lift me up and let me cherish them. I would not be here without you; always remember that.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Bead embroidery collar on leather, with seed beads, turquoise, amber, myrrh, pearls and copper. Cherry wood cabochon inlaid with turquoise by TazWood Finely Turned Creations. Hand fabricated.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Take the Plunge

Marti took a deep breath and jumped. She knew that if she thought about it, she'd find reasons not to do it, and, right now, she wanted to do it. She felt the water close over her head, and she pushed her panic away. It would be okay. She would make it okay.

How could she explain this feeling when she didn't really understand it herself? The rush of giving herself up to the moment; the exhilaration of just acting, without always thinking about thinking things through. It was the only thing she trusted, and if it let her down, well, she'd deal with the fallout. She had to have this escape; she couldn't be expected to control everything all the time.

Just as she felt that her lungs would surely burst, she surfaced. Safe again.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Seed beads, sterling silver, and vintage glass cabochons in a princess length necklace. Hand fabricated; bead weaving and chain maille.

Monday, May 12, 2008

I'm a Fossil

Fifty. How did I get to be fifty? It seems only yesterday that I was in my twenties, or at least, thirty-something. I didn't notice the changes as they happened; it still startles me sometimes to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. That's not what I look like! I'm so much younger than that.

But there it is: In ten days, I'll be fifty.

Half a century behind me. If genetics hold true, I have a good chance of seeing another half-century. But even if I'm past the half-way mark, it's been a good run. I've seen, done, and learned a lot in the past fifty years. And, God-willing, I'll have a lot more to learn, see, and do in the next fifty.

This necklace is my birthday present to me.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Ammonite, gold-filled, seed beads, vintage bugle beads, keishi pearls. Hand fabricated.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Yei Laughs

The sun was just peeking over the hills as she opened the door; she smiled and acknowledged the serendipity of timing that had come to earmark this trip. She spent a moment in silent prayer, thankful for the pleasure the sunrise had given her. The air was crisp and cold, but the sun would warm the earth very quickly. She would not need a jacket.

She was suddenly, ravenously, hungry. Huevos Rancheros, beans, tortillas and cup after cup of hot coffee; she could eat a cowboy under the table this morning. There was a place just down the street, and she had a funny feeling that they would be unlocking the door just about now.

They were.

She grinned, delighted with life and looking forward to breakfast.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, turquoise inlaid cherry burl cabochon by TazWood Finely Turned Creations, turquoise, onyx, coral, seed and bugle beads. Hand fabricated 16" necklace.

In the private collection of Linda Winsor

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Early Spring

It happened so suddenly; one day it was still winter, dull and grey, and the next morning everything was turning green. Leaves unfurled before the sun rose, and forsythia and daffodils trumpeted bright yellow notes under blue, blue skies.

Spring green is like no other; it has a freshness that no other season can duplicate. The world looks scrubbed clean and freshly painted. Later in the year, the garden will be thicker and very, very lush; but never again will it be such a wonderful shade of green.

Winter is finally over.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Vintage glass chatons, seed beads, 14k gold-filled accents. Hand fabricated princess length necklace.

In the private collection of Claudia Newcomer

Monday, April 21, 2008

Dawning of a New Hope

Hope went to the window and looked out, not seeing the garden or the new leaves unfurling; lost in her own thoughts and memories. Her lessons had been hard and painfully learned; she understood the consequences, though they were very nearly more than she could bear.

"Just one more chance," she prayed, "please, Lord, just one more chance."

"Trust Me."

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

14 carat gold-filled, modern and vintage glass beads, wooden Purpleheart cabochon by Joan Jensen of TazWood Finely Turned Creations. Hand fabricated, bead weaving and chain maille princess-length necklace.

*Available for purchase through TazWood Creations*

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Ribbon of Faith

Marti never gave up. She might look small and delicate; she might act demure and easily led, but she clung to her ideals as tightly as any vine that climbed towards the sun. Marti was a determined young woman. She would have been surprised to learn that the rest of the world mistook her agreeability for compliance; she would have laughed at the fact that her soft smiles and gentle ways allowed others to think that she followed their lead.

Marti went where she wanted to go. True, she nearly always went secretly; she didn't often share her thoughts or desires with others. She let them think what they would; she didn't really believe they would do otherwise, and saw no point in making waves.

Her quiet determination would see her through.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, seed beads, Swarovski crystals, petal pearls, labradorite. Hand fabricated choker length necklace of bead weaving and chain maille.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Empress Emilie

Emilie smiled her favorite smile: calm and sophisticated, with just a touch of warmth. It was the smile she reserved for people she liked; the smile she used when she actually felt like smiling. She hadn't always been so calculating; there had actually been a time when her face did what it wanted to do, and almost everyone called her Emmy.

But now she was Emilie through and through. The people who had known Emmy were long gone; she had almost forgotten how to live that way, and she didn't miss it. Emmy had felt too much; Emmy had no defenses against cruelty. It had hurt too much to be Emmy; she'd had to give her up. It was the right thing to do.

No sadness. Not ever again. Her face automatically arranged itself into Emilie's cheerful smile number seven.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Vintage glass cabochons, Swarovski crystals, seed beads, gold filled chain maille. Hand fabricated bracelet.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Not another girly-girl

Her hair was black with a few licks of purple and blue, and her makeup was applied as carefully and precisely as the strokes of a renaissance painter. Her cosmetics comprised every shade of her favorite colors; she selected each one deliberately and applied it carefully; mixing and shading them one into the other, wielding her brush with the grace and speed of a true artist.

She selected her clothing with the same careful eye for detail; nothing, but nothing, was left to chance or unconsidered. Her palette was not simply black; she incorporated undertones of color with the unexpected sparkle of gold.

No cold, hard, contrast of silver for her; she loved the incongruity of warmth inside her darkness.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Vintage glass cabochons, Swarovski crystals, Czech crystals, seed beads. Hand fabricated choker length necklace.

In private collection

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Russian Princess

Anastasia stepped carefully over the litter of toys in her living room and sighed. She should be picking them up, but suddenly the clutter seemed overwhelming. She swept her hand across the mess on the sofa, taking a perverse pleasure in her ability to make plastic action figures take flight. Before sitting down, she checked for remaining weapons; a plastic spear was still a spear.

Good. Nothing had escaped her wrath. She was the all-powerful Mominator. She curled up, hugging her knees to her chest, not really wanting to let humor reclaim her and send her on a search and rescue mission for the living room floor. No Mominator. Not today. Instead, she simply closed her eyes and let her life recede.

Anastasia stepped carefully out of the carriage, holding her skirts just high enough to keep them from tripping her. She nodded to the footman as he returned her hand to her father's, and pulled her furs tighter around her to ward off the chill in the air. She was so glad to be home.

She laughed in spite of herself. Time to clean up this palace.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, eudialite, and corundum necklace. Chain maille, hand fabricated.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Trophy Wives

The diet hadn't been quite as successful as she'd hoped, but she was happily impressed with the new technologies in lingerie. She felt as smooth and sleek as the younger, and more expensive, wives in attendance. She looked around the beautifully decorated room, accepted a glass of something pink and trendy, noting that there certainly weren't very many of the old gals left. Was she the last? The comfortable cocker spaniels that should have been here had been replaced by a crop of whippets.

Nervous whippets. Whippets without histories; and, without futures. They would be indulged for awhile, and, when their husbands tired of them, they would be replaced by an even younger and thinner model.

Ah, at last. Another woman of her generation. She wasn't the last of her kind after all.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Choker made from seed beads, vintage glass cabochons, pearls, and jet beads. Hand fabricated.

Monday, March 10, 2008


It was her secret, the place imagination carried her whenever life was too much to handle. She had no idea what it was really like; it was the idea of it that charmed her, and she'd never had any interest in finding out anything more about it than what she'd learned in the fourth grade.

The Galapagos islands: Isolated. Untouched. Protected from time and civilization.

She leaned back and let the dust of her day disappear into a sandy beach, where giant tortoises basked in the sun, and curious birds had no fear of her presence.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, lampwork by Gail Kops of Beadles. Hand fabricated.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Darkest before the dawn

The mountains were deep purple, and so far away that they looked as if they were cut out and pasted on the horizon. There were millions of stars in the sky; more than she'd ever seen before. The moon was low and as pale as a ghost. She watched the bats return to their roosts and knew that the long night was nearly at an end.

She'd watched the moon climb and descend; she'd felt the earth spinning below the stars. She'd stared through the darkness, unseeing, listening to the night dwellers circle around her. She was cold and alone, and had wondered if daylight would return. There were times when she could not imagine anything but night.

At last, the pale fingers of dawn extinguished the stars. She recognized the bright blue of the desert sky, and felt the tears ran down her face. They had been a long time coming.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, charoite, turquoise. Hand fabricated.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Dreaming of spring

The sky was that deep blue color that only comes once or twice a year, and the sunlight was glinting off the ice and snow in a way that made her feel anything was possible. She could see into the very heart of the earth where the irises slept, curled up in their corms, dreaming of spring.

Her breathing slowed, and she dreamed their dreams, folded tight in her own corm, held fast by her own roots. She was locked into winter, and had been for many years. She stirred and smiled a tiny smile, imagining her petals unfurled.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, opal, and Sleeping Beauty turquoise ring. Hand fabricated.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


She'd planted them in every garden she'd ever had; the first had been transplants from her mother's garden which had spread like wildfire around the front porch. She loved seeing their cheerful little eyes winking at her as she went in and out; in her memory they were always in bloom under sunny California skies. She wondered if they were still there; wondered if someone else enjoyed them the way she had.

After moving across the country, she planted forget-me-nots in three new gardens; this time from seed. She had a strong sentimental attachment to the genus Myosotis, but not to the individual plants; there was no need for her to dig and transplant between gardens any more. In fact, for several years, the seeds came from packets distributed by a local realtor; every spring one arrived in her mailbox and she found a new place to sprinkle the teaspoon of seed that was inside it.

They always came up; but here, they only bloom in Spring.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver and turquoise bracelet. Hand fabricated.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Bumpy road


No one said it would be easy. But did it really have to be so hard? Margot pulled a face at the retreating back of her mother. The woman could be so dense sometimes. How had she gone from knowing everything to knowing nothing? Maybe empathy evaporates in your 40s. Margot shrugged. Whatever. It was what it was. Deal with it.

Catherine closed the door very softly, and sat on the edge of her bed. Margot could be so cruel; was she doing it intentionally? How had she gone from hanging on her every word, to hating her every thought? Catherine put her fingers on the edges of her eyelids and pressed gently until she felt the tears stop welling.

It was what it was. Deal with it.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver and amethyst bracelet. Hand fabricated.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Robin's egg blues

"They're at it again. Silly birds!" Robyn smiled affectionately at her almost-namesakes. They were building their nest in the roses that arched over the main path from her driveway to her door again this year. Back and forth they flew, carrying the bits and pieces that they would use to weave into a very sloppy looking nest.

Every year it was the same. The female would sit her eggs, hunching down as low as she could get as the family went to and fro beneath her. The first year, they walked the long way around, not wanting to disturb her, but as the years went by, they gradually gave up that courtesy. Now they looked right into the nest as they passed.

Every year, the babies hatched; sometimes the nest didn't hold and they fell to the ground. When Robyn or her sisters found them alive, they gently put them back, knowing that the mother bird would have no trouble accepting them. When the babies died, the girls used to hold funerals; Robyn couldn't quite remember when they'd stopped.

She watched them for a few minutes more; then went on with her day.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver and turquoise bracelet. Hand fabricated.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Small wonder

"I just can't get anything right," Courtney muttered, kicking a rock that had suddenly appeared in her path. All that accomplished was scuffing the toe of her brand new, thigh high, boots. She examined it ruefully, hoping that a polishing would remove the scratches. Even the blinking earth was out to get her today.

She'd tried so hard to get him to notice her; she'd done everything short of grabbing his lapels and planting a kiss on his mouth. And don't think that hadn't occurred to her; she'd only abandoned that idea reluctantly. It might surprise some people, but Courtney had her limits. And snogging a total stranger, even a stranger as lovely as this one, was definitely off limits.


© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver and tourmaline bracelet. Hand fabricated.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


She'd known this place all her life; it seemed impossible that this was the first time she'd actually been here. It had always been part of her, her secret joy and comfort, the sight and sound that swept away the fears and cobwebs in her mind.

She tipped her head back and looked all the way up to where the mist obscured the top of the cliff; the thin stream of water pouring over the side seemed to come from the sky itself. As it fell closer to earth, it seemed to widen; was it simply a trick of perspective or an actual repealing of the laws of gravity?

She didn't care. She was here.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver chain maille necklace. Hand fabricated.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Disappearing girl

She kept her heart hidden. Not deliberately, no; in fact, it was something she was not even aware of doing. She thought everything about her was plainly visible; she was under the impression that everyone knew how she was feeling most, if not all, of the time. She realized that people often acted oddly in the face of her feelings; in truth, no one ever really responded the way she expected, but she felt that was a lack in her own expectations, not evidence of their ignorance.

She hid those feelings, too. She knew she was hiding them; she had no desire to hurt people by letting them know that they did not meet her expectations. It wasn't their fault. She carefully tied her disappointments into little knots and skillfully wove them into something more palatable; she looked for the good in people and circled her thoughts around it.

And always, always, she put a smile on her face.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver and tourmaline bracelet. Hand fabricated.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Animal Magnetism

"This'll make their eyes pop," she whispered to her own reflection as she held up the clothes she was about to put on. She turned sideways to the mirror, patted her tummy, and satisfied herself that it was flat enough. She turned a bit more, tightening her muscles; yup, she still had it. Well, as long as she remembered to squeeze, she still had it. Okay, okay, she still had enough of it.

It had been a long time since she'd gone out on a real date; she wasn't sure she knew the rules anymore. She gave herself a mental shake; what did rules matter? She'd just make up her own and that was that. A little attitude would take her as far as she needed to go.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

14k gold-filled, sterling silver, lampwork by Donna Millard of Fyrebeadz. Hand fabricated.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Think Global

"What was that saying?" she muttered, "Something global, something local?" She stared at her cat, as if expecting an answer, but got nothing. The cat yawned and blinked but didn't speak.

"Figures," she spat in the general direction of the cat as she got up from the computer and left the room, "I don't know why I ask you anything, anyway."

She caught sight of herself in her bedroom mirror and let out a whoop of laughter. Never mind the world; she'd better start with her own hair. It was standing straight up as a result of being raked by her fingers while she racked her brain for that trite saying that was still missing from her mind.

"Never mind," she told the cat, loftily, "I never use cliches, anyway."

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver. Hand fabricated chain and lentil beads.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


It was too early to wake him, so she slipped on her jeans and yesterday's T-shirt, and, shoes in hand, walked out the door, barefoot. She closed the door without making a sound; she'd had a lot of practice at leaving silently. The sun had not yet shown itself over the hills, but the sky was bright enough for her to see where she was going. When she reached the street, she eased her tennis shoes onto her feet.

She started out at a lope, wanting, no, needing to breathe deeply as the night evaporated into morning.  Her lungs filled with cool air, and, after awhile, she slowed down.  She'd run far enough.  She stopped to catch her breath and stretched her hamstrings against a tree; she ran her fingers through her hair, smoothing it, and looked around.

Hanging from the tree, just inches from her nose, was a vine with some tightly wound dark purple flower buds on them.  As she watched, they slowly unfurled.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, uncut black diamond. Hand forged and hand fabricated.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

January Thaw

It had warmed up enough to melt off all but the largest drifts of snow; the creek had burst through yesterday's ice dams and was flowing freely again. The ground was almost muddy; it squelched lightly under her boots, but she did not sink into it the way she would in spring.

There was something so wonderful and unexpected about a January thaw; the leaves that had fallen a few months ago were still recognizable as leaves; a few remaining patches of snow lightened shady spots; and the sun shone like gold thorough the bare branches of the trees. She watched the play of light on the forest floor; she hummed along to the music of the creek.

Winter was not over; there would be more ice and snow, but today, oh, today it was spring in her heart.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

14k gold-filled, sterling silver, copper, tourmaline, freshwater pearl. Hand fabricated.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Frozen Flight

It had been well below freezing for more than a week when she finally took out her old skates and cleaned the blades; she had not been on the ice since she was a girl, yet her mother had kept them. She'd seen them in the hall closet when she hung up her coat; every time she opened that door, they winked at her. It was not a trick of the light; those skates actually winked.

Someone had already swept the snow from the ice, creating a large oval arena; she noticed a few holes further out where fishermen had drilled; the ice was obviously thick enough for them. Nevertheless, hearing her father's voice in her head, she picked up the largest stone she could manage and dropped it onto the ice about a foot from the edge of the lake. If the edges held, the ice was still strong. No cracks.

She brushed some snow off a bench and began to lace up her skates. Her fingers moved quickly, strong and sure; they remembered. She stood up awkwardly, a little nervous, and stepped gingerly onto the ice. She stood there, waiting for something, and then took a tentative baby step. Before she could talk herself out of it, her knees bent and her legs moved in a deeply buried, nearly instinctual way; carrying her out across the lake.

Eyes bright, she flew.

© 2008 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, lampwork by Robin of Something New 4 You. Hand fabricated.